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Porn Condom Enforcement in City of L.A. to be Handed to County

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Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 3:29 PM

click to enlarge NATE 'IGOR' SMITH FOR LA WEEKLY
  • Nate 'Igor' Smith for LA Weekly
Eighteen months ago L.A. became the first community in California to require condoms in porn production, but it has yet to enforce the rule.

Today the L.A. City Council voted to allow the L.A. County Department of Public Health to take over that dirty work. The vote also adopts the county's own condom rule, approved by voters last year, that applies to studio and location shoots throughout most of the county.

The City Council voted 10-0 to approve a two-part ordinance: One facet would bring the city's condom rule in line with the one voters approved for most of L.A. county in November; the other would put responsibility for enforcing the rule within city boundaries on the county.

The change of language appears to mean that not only location shoots would be affected in the city because the county rule applies to studio and remote productions.

"By adopting the language of Measure B, that gives the city the ability to expand coverage to studio shoots as well," says Ged Kenslea of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has pushed for mandatory condoms in porn for years.

He told us the AHF, which spearheaded both Measure B and the city rule, envisioned joint enforcement someday:

click to enlarge NATE 'IGOR' SMITH FOR LA WEEKLY
  • Nate 'Igor' Smith for LA Weekly

It makes sense that there should be one enforcement mechanism with the film permits.

Under the city's language, porn productions in L.A. would have to go to the county for health permits that legally bind them to condom use.

One week from today the council will take a second vote; those those are usually similar to the first. Then the law would end up on Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's desk for his signature.

But here's a twist: The L.A. City Clerk last week announced that the AHF and supporters had turned in more than enough signatures to quality another initiative for the June 3, 2014 city ballot.

The measure, called "Creation of a City of Los Angeles Public Health Department Initiative Ordinance," would force City Hall to create its own county-style health department.

The City Council can go ahead and do that on its own or place the initiative before voters.

The idea, Kenslea told us, is to create a health department that is more responsive to constituents. It's not just about condoms in porn. It's about the what the AHF says has been the county's slow response to a syphilis outbreak in the gay community, and to tuberculosis on the city's Skid Row.

However, he acknowledges that if this measure is successful, and the city ends up with its own county-style health department, it would be strange to have the county enforcing the city's condoms-in-porn rule.

"They may have to reconsider," Kenslea said. "They often amend and revisit things."

See also: Porn Defends the Money Shot.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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